Australian Cadel Evans finally takes victory – in the Mendrisio World Championships Elite Mens Road Race. After facing tough competition and bad luck (puncture in Vuelta a Espana) in professional competition with his Team Silence Lotto, Evans has now broken the spell with a surprise victory in Mendrisio, Switzerland today to take the rainbow jersey.
After holding back in the peloton despite breakaways, In the final rounds of the circuit, Cadel Evans was able to push forward together and the Australian trio Simon Gerrans, Michael Rogers and Cadel Evans took position. With leg work from Rogers, helping keep an eye on new break aways, Evans kept to Cancellara, the race favourite as Ballans and Vinokourov made breakaway attempts.
Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver of Spain pushed forward with a break and Cadel challenged him, uncontested and overtook taking the lead. The lead bunch seemed unaware that their chances were dimishing as the Cancellara seemed unfazed. Russian Alexandr Kolobnev and Oliver chased Evans who pushed through the final round of the circuit to take victory 27 seconds ahead the duo.
“I don’t quite believe it – I have seven World Chapionship medals at home from junior, Under 23 and the elite mounatin bike relay and never won a gold,” said an overwhelmed Evans who broke down in tears of joy and relief after his victory. “This is my home away from home… this course really suits me and history obviously agrees.
“Golly what a weekend for Geelong,” said Evans who is a Geelong AFL team supporter and has now given the Victorian city even more cause to celebrate. Geelong and Melbourne will host the UCI Road Cycling World Championships next year and they now have a homegrown World Champion to model the rainbow jersey.
“I only just made the (decisive break) group in the very last moment and used my head and legs and experience from there onwards,” he explained. “The world’s been telling me for years I can’t win big races, can’t win one day races, because my job is to win stage races, and then today I come out and win the World Championship, I don’t quite believe it.”
Cadels’ victory see’s him has the first Australian ever to win the World Championships Men’s Elite Road Race.